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Who We Are

The Food Policy Council was established by the County Commission in 2010, and formed as a joint City-County advisory body with the City of Lawrence in 2013.


The Food Policy Council (FPC) seeks to identify the benefits, challenges and opportunities for a successful, sustainable local food system in Douglas County, Kansas. 


To this end, the purpose of the FPC is:

  1. To advise elected officials on food-system related policy issues and
  2. To provide a community forum for local food system development.


Read our bylaws to learn more about our purpose and structure. 


The FPC works to help advance community progress towards the following goals, which form the structure for the Douglas County Food System Plan (adopted summer 2017). 

  • Goal 1: Agricultural producers, food entrepreneurs, and food sector workers thrive in our regional economy.
  • Goal 2: As our cities grow, we prioritize natural resource conservation and maintain working lands to promote soil health. 
  • Goal 3: We build and design our communities to ensure food access, foster health, and eliminate food deserts. 
  • Goal 4: Our community fosters an equitable food system. 
  • Goal 5: Our community eliminates waste in our local food system. 

Council Staff Liaison:

Kim Criner Ritchie, Sustainability and Food Systems Analyst

E:    P: 785-832-5157



As a joint county and city appointed group, the Food Policy Council has a diverse group of stakeholders, from agricultural producers to extension agents, retail food partners and more. This diverse membership allows for more collaboration across the county and city to strengthen our local food system. Below is the current roster and the sector of the food system that each board member represents.

County Commission Appointees (9):City Commission Appointees (7):

Ashley Hornberger Agricultural Producer 

Cody Haynes 

Heather McPeek Sustainable Agriculture Liaison


Jamie Knabe Agricultural Producer 

Laura McCulloch Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Liaison

Marlin Bates K-State Research & Extension-Douglas County Liaison

Scott Thellman Agricultural Producer | Douglas County Farm Bureau Liaison

Tamara Cash Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Liaison

Christina Ostmeyer 

Dietrich Earnhart 

Elizabeth Keever, Vice Chair 

Melissa Freiburger 

Rolf Petermann Agricultural Producer 

Sarah Chenoweth City of Lawrence Sustainability Advisory Board Liaison

Tyler Lindquist, Chair 


How to get involved with the Food Policy Council 

Attend a Meeting

The easiest way to get involved in the Food Policy Council is by attending the meetings which occur every third Monday of the month from 6:30-8:30pm at various locations in Douglas County. At these meetings, you can connect with community stakeholders who all have the same goal in mind: a successful, sustainable local food system in Douglas County, Kansas.

Apply for Council Appointment

If you live, work, or own a business in Douglas County, and you have personal passion and experience, or professional expertise related to our community food system, you can apply to serve on the Food Policy Council. Applications will be reviewed and members are appointed by both the Douglas County and City of Lawrence Commissioners with consideration for diversity of perspectives from across all sectors of the food system. We are currently accepting applications for several 2020 Council appointments. Members are appointed for 3-year terms that start in January, with the option to serve a second term. Applications are also accepted on a rolling basis and held for future consideration.

Join a Working Group

Our working groups are open to the public and do not require a formal appointment. They are a great way for residents to engage in on-going collaboration to help advance community priorities and policy change with the FPC. Our working groups are organized around the five goals of the Food System Plan. Our working groups are:

  • Food & Farm: Building the local food economy and ensuring we maintain needed natural resources for continued local agricultural production. 
  • Health EquityReducing barriers to healthy food access and promoting equity in our food system. 
  • ForwardEliminating food waste through reduction, recovery, and diversion (including composting). 

To learn more and find out about monthly meeting dates/times (they vary) contact

Learn more about local food

Our website is a great place to learn about local food projects the Food Policy Council has accomplished since its founding.